The basic Concrete Form

Form Criteria:   Low cost to permit having as many forms as feasible to pour each session, long lasting, ease of removal from hardened Tie.   Basically we needed to find something already being made for another purpose that we could adapt.  We found it in the Kitchen Department @ Walmart for $2.10 each.  It is Rubbermaid Drawer Organizer number 2917,   Walmart stock number 71691 29171.   These come with 4 - 1/8" feet that need to be ground or cut off along with a lip on one side of the tray to fasten several together in a kitchen drawer. 

Plastic inserts are pushed on nails or steel pegs.  When removing the forms the pegs or nails are removed.  The exact insert needed depends on the screw being used to hold the rail down.  Tapered inserts will not work.  The screw will pull a tapered insert up and out of the tie when installing the rail on the tie.  Round Cylindrical fluted inserts are best.  The fluting keeps the insert from turning when the screw bottoms out on the rail foot.  The fluting also adds as much as 50% more surface area and additional friction or attachement to the concrete.

During the initial test pours, we made each tie seperately as shown below because we were testing different inserts and concrete mix designs in each.   We will not show you the failures as it might confuse the issue at this point.

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Concrete Tie Fabrication
Forms made from wood or steel that require assembly prior to filling with concrete and dissasembly to remove the hardened tie are not efficient in any way.  The Ideal form is one that is one piece and has battered (sloping) sides that will allow the harded tie to be removed without damage to the tie or the form. 
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Below are new metal forms that we had custom made.  They are exactly like the plastic molds and will last way longer than the plastic ones.  We had 60 of these made. If they work out as we think we will add more metal ones as the plastic ones wear out.  The metal ones cost about $20.0 each.  They are laser cut, bent and mig welded at the corners. 
New Unionville and Western Railroad - Southern Indiana Live Steamers, Inc.
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